CANTON – The St. Lawrence County Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) offices are teaming up with the New York Alliance for Donation (NYAD) and DMV offices around the state during what they call “Donate Life Month” to increase enrollment in the New York State Donate Life Registry.
Donate Life Month is “a national month-long observance aimed at raising public awareness of the critical need for organ, eye, and tissue donation, as nearly 10,000 New Yorkers currently wait for transplants,” DMV said in a news release.
During the entire month of April, the Canton, Massena, Ogdensburg and Gouverneur DMV offices will be encouraging New Yorkers to learn more about organ, eye and tissue donation and the impact it has on thousands of New Yorkers.
The offices will be filled with promotional items that urge New Yorkers to make a difference and give the gift of life by registering as donors. Enrolling in the Donate Life Registry is a way to ensure that an individual’s wishes about donation will be known at the time of their death.
“DMV offices are on the frontlines of this battle. This is where New Yorkers can make the important decision to be a hero to a person in need and give the gift of life,” explained Aisha Tator, Executive Director of NYAD.
“Promoting organ donation in the DMV offices during Donate Life Month will make a huge impact on enrollment numbers. The more awareness we build around donation, the more lives we can save and improve.”
New York has the third highest need for donors in the country, yet the second lowest percentage of registered donors.
Out of the approximately 10,000 New Yorkers on the waiting list, over 1800 have been waiting for life saving and improving transplants for more than 5 years.
Each year, an estimated 500 men, women and children in the state die because to the shortage of donors.
“We will be raising the Donate Life flag at the Canton DMV on Monday 4/3 at 10:00 in order to help raise awareness to the need in St. Lawrence County. Through our efforts at the County Clerk and DMV offices, the number of registered donors has increased in St. Lawrence County over the past year but we have a long way to go. The more we can bring awareness to this need, the more lives will be saved” said County Clerk Mary Lou Rupp.
New Yorkers can enroll in the Donate Life Registry electronically through the MyDMV website (http://dmv.ny.gov/mydmv/mydmv) if they have a driver license or non-driver identification card. Enrolling through this method will not result in a new driver license or non-driver identification card with a red heart symbol and the words "Organ Donor".
New Yorkers age 16 and over can also enroll at their local DMV offices by signing the organ donor consent certification. This can be found on the forms used to apply for or renew a driver license or non-driver identification card. When you enroll through this method, a symbol of a red heart and the words "Organ Donor" will be printed on the front of your driver license or non-driver identification card at no extra cost.
New Yorkers also have the unique opportunity to enroll in the New York State Donate Life registry through the voter registration form.
Additionally, New Yorkers can show their support for organ and tissue donation by purchasing a “Life-Pass It On” custom license plate from the DMV. They can also show support by making a voluntary $1 contribution to organ transplant research, education and donation promotion projects by checking off the box on their drivers’ license or non-driver identification application or renewal form.
The New York Alliance for Donation (NYAD) is a not-for-profit with a mission to increase organ, eye and tissue donation in New York State through collaborative advocacy, education, promotion, and research. Our goal is to ensure a transplant for every New Yorker in need. NYAD is comprised of the four organ procurement organizations, four eye and tissue banks and/or processors, and affiliates, including dedicated donation and transplantation professionals.